Power Supply Alternatives ... Need maximum Compatibility

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee, Devonavar

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Post by arklab » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:09 am

Hi - i'm new here, but boy have I been experiencing similar confusion over power supplies.

I'm building a new rig with AMD Opteron 165 (a dual core) on a DFI NF4 Expert motherboard.
My goal is a stable, solid, 550W plus PS, preferably modular - and leaning toward 620W or more. It should also have a 120 fan, meet SLI and Crossfire standards (if not certified), have at least two 12V+ rails and a true 8 pin 12v EPS connector.
In other words up to todays standards.


I've been noting problems being uncovered in MANY power supplies, often the best known brands!

Problems I've uncovered SO FAR:

Seasonic S12 series, esp. 500W and 600W - known and admitted (by seasonic) BOOT PROBLEM with DFI motherboards. THIS INCLUDES Rev 1 and Rev. 2!
Seasonic says they are fixing this and a Rev. 3 S-12 will be available by Feb. 15th. See DFI-Street posts for more.

Antec - well I see you already know about this one. Good luck if you want to run an Asus board with this - about 50-50 chance on a good day. :lol:

Enermax - (my old favorite) several current models FAIL when the +3V and +5V rails are stressed. And some cheap stuff PASSED!
See the excellent PSU round-up reviews at Hexus.net:
They test 34 PSU's in the Frotron/Source test lab equipment.

PC Power and Cooling 510W - yea, hard to believe, but NOT dual rail. And from a great company, too.

Look, if you are going to to sell me a car for the price of a BMW, please don't slip me last years Yugo! :evil:

As of now I'm wondering if maybe Silverstone's ST60F isn't as good as I can get right now.

I'll keep reading ...

El Doug
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Post by El Doug » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:39 am

why would you want dual rail in the first place?

the PP&C is loud as anything, though - so best to look elsewhere

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Post by Devonavar » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:45 am

I think if you look hard enough, just about every power supply on the market has problems with some board or other. That doesn't prevent them from being very good power supplies with every other product. The reason you only hear about the best known brands is because so many people buy them. Statistically, you're much more likely to hear about problems with popular products.

I also think you need to do some research into what makes a power supply good technically. There's much more to power supplies than wattage and dual rails.

First off, you don't need more than 400W unless you have a VERY high powered, heavily overclocked rig. I'm talking dual CPU, dual GPU here.

You might be interested in reading our testing of how much power real systems actually draw.

A 300W power supply can power the vast majority of systems out there at stock speeds. Only SLI/Crossfire requires more.

Overclocking can also increase power requirements, but even for overclocking 620W is simply too much.

Go here to read up on what dual rails actually means. The short answer: It's a form of over-current protection that has no effect on stability and serves only to cause unnecessary shutdowns.

If you don't want to believe the info on a forum post, you can go and read the EPS12V spec for yourself. Particularly of interest to you is the section that notes that split rails are recommended, not required. Be sure you read the section about the circumstances where the Overcurrent protection is useful. Also, this quote: "If 240VA limiting is not a requirement, all +12V outputs are common and may have the same wire color." (p.17) may interest you.

Once you've done all of that research, check out the Cooler Master Real Power if you're still set on a monster wattage PSU. It's not quiet, but it does have good electronics inside.

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Post by arklab » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:21 am

Thank you both for your considered replies. 8)

Right now I am reading and thinking prior to responding, so as to form as helpful and constructive a thread as possible.
True, initally I disagree with some of your thoughts - but in a reasoned way that we all may learn from.

I might add as a caution that I have seen too many reviews finding flat out "miss-information" on several products (not those I've already mentioned) - such as claiming dual rails when only one actually gets out of the PSU (they get soldered together in the case :shock: ).
[I mean the product, not the review]
Buyer beware - and search reviews and great forums like this!

I hope to reply further a little later.

Others please feel free to pile in!

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Post by stukovx » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:18 pm

Although you only need 300w of power, DFI Requires that you use at least a 480w power supply, otherwise they are not at fault for anything that happens to the board.

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Post by teknerd » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:18 pm

stukovx wrote:Although you only need 300w of power, DFI Requires that you use at least a 480w power supply, otherwise they are not at fault for anything that happens to the board.
Fortunately they have now way of knowing what power supply you are using. They only say that so that someone doesnt use a 200W power supply with a dual 7800GTX rig and then call them when it doesnt work.

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Post by zest » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:45 pm

If you want a modular, Enermax Liberty or even Tagan easy-con 580 would be good other that Seasonic S12 600w is the best one on your list.

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